Monday, November 29, 2010
Sipping, Shucking, Slurping, and Reflecting
I try to use Thanksgiving as a time to truly appreciate the year and be mindful of all my blessings. After all, if you can’t be thankful on that day, there’s a problem. I am a big believer in blessings and it’s been a year full of them. My children are healthy, my home is comfortable, and my family is happy. The truly important things in life are all incredibly good.
We have a family oyster roast on Thanksgiving eve each year. We bundle up, head outside, sip on a fun cocktail, and shuck and slurp our way to the satisfaction that only comes from a full stomach. It was during this meal last year that I announced to my parents about having a book contract on the way.
During this same ritual last week, I kept thinking about that night one year ago when I was bursting with the news until the right moment emerged. As I shucked oyster after oyster, I couldn’t help but think how much has happened in one year. The very same book that was news rolling off my tongue has now shipped to the printer. It’s hard to believe. One bushel from the Gulf later (tasting as wonderful as ever, I might add) and it was a night filled with briny simplicity and good memories.Cookbooks have been such a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember. Even in high school, I found comfort in cookbooks. With food, I had a place to fit in. My ultimate goal in college was to work as a food editor of cookbooks as a career. As soon as I started my job as an assistant food editor with Oxmoor House, it’s like I found what I was meant to do.
I’d written two regional books before, but I knew that I wanted this book to be different. I embarked on the traditional journey that so many authors know too well. I started working on getting an agent. Once that hurdle was behind me, I listened and learned from her each step of the way. If a journey isn’t filled with lessons, it’s one that’s not worth taking. I can certainly say this one was jam-packed and I’m a better person because of it today.On the day my agent called with the news that we had a publishing contract, I can’t really describe how I felt. I cried. I laughed. I danced in the kitchen. It was amazing. The closest comparison I can make are the moments I learned I was pregnant with each of my children. I didn’t know the details, but I knew that my life just got better.
With the year behind me, I can only wish that I could kick off the next one standing at the press as the first page rolls off. Quick-Fix Southern (Andrews McMeel) will be released on March 8, 2011.
3 cups tonic water
3/4 cup orange flavored vodka
1/2 cup Pomegranate juice
Pomegranate seeds, for garnish
Combine the tonic water, vodka, and juice in a pitcher. Serve over ice in rocks glasses. Garnish with pomegranate seeds.